SBD/April 12, 2013/Media

Houston Mayor Wants Meeting Between CSN Houston, Cable Providers To End Stalemate

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has asked officials from DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Suddenlink Communications to meet with her and Comcast SportsNet Houston execs "to discuss a solution to the unresolved carriage negotiations between providers and the Rockets- and Astros-owned network," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Parker sent a letter to the provider dated April 5, saying she wanted to meet "on behalf of the millions that passionately root for our Houston teams." She added with the Rockets heading to the playoffs and the Astros beginning their debut season in the AL, the "situation is intolerable." Parker in the letter did acknowledge the "complex nature of the negotiations." A similar letter was not sent to CSN Houston, but Parker "inquired of network officials before writing the letters if they would be willing to meet with her and providers." Barron noted Suddenlink on Monday "submitted a new offer to CSN Houston in which it said it would agree to carry the channel 'in and around the Houston area, on a dedicated package of sports channels, at the per-customer price established by CSN Houston’s owners.'" However, the network replied the offer was “not consistent with Suddenlink’s treatment of other regional sports networks, including Fox Sports Southwest” (CHRON.com, 4/10).

TALKS BREAK DOWN OUT WEST: In San Diego, Bill Center reported talks between Fox and Time Warner Cable over carriage of Padres games in the city "have broken down." A Fox official said that he "doubted Padres games would be carried on TWC this season." The same source last year correctly predicted TWC "would not carry Padres games" in '12. Center noted three meetings were reportedly held in N.Y. last weekend "after San Diego political leaders tried to pressure the sides to reach an agreement" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 4/11).
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